Toyota’s Celica was a pony car rendered one-size down. The engine bay on today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Celica is swelled like the Grinch’s heart owing to the Ford 302 now beating there. Let’s see if its price is also worth beating.
Let’s do some word association, okay? I’ll say Volvo and you’ll say… boxy? I’ll say stick shift and you’ll say… fun? Okay, last one—I’ll say wagon and you’ll say… useful? Put those words all together and you’ll get yesterday’s 1992 Volvo 240 manual-equipped wagon. Another word you might have used in relation to that car was value as its asking earned a solid 78% Nice Price win.
How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you do so by exchanging gifts with friends and family under a festively decorated Yule tree? Or, do you go out for Chinese food? While both of those scenarios hold my interest, I’m much more into celebrating the pagan observance of the Winter Solstice from which many contemporary Christmas traditions were drawn. Call me a traditionalist.
Of course, even with my old-school take on tradition I can still appreciate so radical a notion as this 1985 Toyota Celica with a carb’d 302 and T5 five-speed. Its seller has dubbed it the “Mustelica” which very honestly sounds to me like the name of a thrash metal cover band.
The ad claims the car was bought by its current custodian as an incomplete project. It’s now complete and is up for sale because the seller is afraid it’s “going to get me into too much trouble.”
Trouble is our business, so this V8-powered Japanese pony car is right up our yokocho alley. First off however, let’s get past the title in the ad: “Celica Fox Body.” There’s nothing Fox “Body” about it, there’s just has a 302 and T5 wedged in it and those are apparently from a 2001 Mustang, although that’s suspect. The 302 has gone carb, sporting a Holley 670-cfm four-barrel as well as a hotter cam.
The install looks reasonably tidy, although as you might expect the wiring is a bit of a dog’s lunch. The seller states that everything works excluding the heat and A/C which are there but not hooked up. At least in this car you’d be uncomfortable year-round. There’s something to be said for consistency.
A custom driveshaft takes the power (300 ponies if you believe the seller’s estimation skills) back to a Supra rear end where it does its thing. Above all that is a coupe body—sadly not the more attractive hatch—in two-tone silver over black. The seller says it rocks “Magnus Walker 277 patina” on the grey sections, but that the black looks more serviceable. Fat steelies underpin the car, and rust is said to be limited to a section on the rear quarter. One would have to assume there’s a hood included with the car, although none is evident in the pics.
Inside there’s cloth seats, a stock dash, and a rather tall and proud shifter. You might want to switch that out as the seller says its throw is outfield to home base in length.
He also says that buying the car nets you all the bits to do an EFI intake, a Sublime Greatest Hits CD, half-tank of gas, and some other comically presented add-ons. The car has a clean title and 120,000 on the body. The 302 is said to only have done 39K and the gearbox is rebuilt (hopefully by someone who knew what they were doing) so there is that.
How much does it cost to put this under your tree, or take for some won ton soup? The asking price is $3,777, including that half-tank of gas. Does that seem like a deal to you? Or, is this V8 Celica’s price a lump of coal?
H/T to Zachary Sanzo for the hookup!
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